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Old 10-26-2011, 07:37 PM   #101 (permalink)
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While true, the other side of the coin is that very often these regulatory agencies have dual roles. One is to serve the economic interests of the industry they regulate and the other is to maintain high safety standards. In most cases when economic interest and safety concerns conflict, there is a tendency to err on the side of economic interests. If all you do is watch the last 5 minutes of the last crash video, it clearly demonstrates this cavalier attitude on the part of industry toward safety and human life.


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" If a plane blows up once every ten years, once every 5 years, if we loose 200 300 people?..... cost of doing business"
It`s this attitude and its pervasiveness on the part of the rich and the powerful that the OWS crowd is railing against; just as the rioters in the U.K. have been doing.

As David and I have discussed, I will grant you that many of your points are valid with regard to industry collusion with regulatory agencies but this is a symptom of capitalism, not over regulation. There is not undo economic pressure to over regulate but there is massive economic pressures to under regulate at the cost of human life. Yes, over regulation in some areas exists and we do need methods to correct those instances as we have discussed, but cutting regulations even more is just like pulling back on the stick in a stall; it makes the original problem worse.

this idea of deregulation to me is like saying that if the crime of theft becomes a problem too big for your local police to handle, the "solution" is to make theft legal and therefore not a crime, rather than add more cops...
 
Old 10-26-2011, 08:41 PM   #102 (permalink)
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Hesitant to fully read the last three pages of "Wall of Text", but I just can't see how no regulation at all can be a good thing. Once again it comes down to "Theory" and "Reality". Economists drive me nuts because they like to focus on theoretical mathematical equations. But guess what, economics is honestly not a mathematical discipline: It's a social science. You can make up formulas all day long, but in the end economics is the study of how People form, act and react to markets, not cyborg computers running on predictable pure-logic systems. Complete deregulation might look great in theory, but the result is utter chaos when achieved. It's the Wild-West, and while some might argue that is a perfectly fine model, I do not believe in "Winner Takes All" economics.

I think as Outlander has suggested, the biggest reason regulation goes astray is because of conflict of interest. The problems we face today are not directly because of regulations put in place, but because those monitoring and creating regulations have favored personal and industry profit over doing their job.

Once again, when you add shitloads of money to politics, it ruins everything.

"Who Watches the Watchers?" Well it should be the entire population in a democratic society, but we've been to busy stuffing ourselves with TV Dinners and Nascar to take notice until the shit hit the fan. Instead of taking part in the democratic process which seeks to eliminate corruption, we gave those in power the keys to the castle and wandered off to our ultra-consumer lifestyles. In our current culture, people cannot be bothered to care about politics or government until it directly effects their consumer lifestyle. Doing those things takes effort and is inconvenient - which are directly against our consumer principles.
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:04 PM   #103 (permalink)
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Hesitant to fully read the last three pages of "Wall of Text",
Don't worry, you're not missing out!
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but I just can't see how no regulation at all can be a good thing. Once again it comes down to "Theory" and "Reality".
I don't think anyone is suggesting "no regulation". We've been over this, although perhaps we covered that in the last 3 pages, so I'll give you a break
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I think as Outlander has suggested, the biggest reason regulation goes astray is because of conflict of interest.
It's more than just this, though. This is just a variant of the "angels" theory: "If only we had the right people in charge..."

Anther reason regulation goes astray, as Cheeze alluded to indirectly, is the knowledge problem. Hayek won a Nobel for his work on this matter.

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Instead of taking part in the democratic process which seeks to eliminate corruption, we gave those in power the keys to the castle and wandered off to our ultra-consumer lifestyles.
I don't think we ever had the keys in the first place. A minor point, not at all worth arguing over, but I just wanted to put my perspective out there so you know where i'm coming from.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:39 AM   #104 (permalink)
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War is being declared on us, we just don't realize it yet:
This Video Shows Protester Scott Olsen Moments Before He Was Shot By The Oakland Police
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:02 AM   #105 (permalink)
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Yep... what's happening in Oakland, is unfortunately not a surprise. The last 10 or 20 years in particular have seen increasing militarization of local law enforcement all over the country. Coupled with Oakland's history/notoriety for abuse, it was a recipe for disaster.
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Old 10-27-2011, 01:39 PM   #106 (permalink)
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Again, no one is suggesting no regulation or standardization but that implementation of regulation be overseen and audited by someone other than governmental agencies which have no accountability.

I would strongly argue that capitalism does not foster an environment for regulatory and business to collude in the interest of creating an artificial monopoly. If we understand capitalism in a fundamental sense, such an idea is antithetical to capitalism becaus the very nature of such collusion is antithetical to the idea of a free market. A free market is one in which market forces are allowed to prevent artificial monopolies from forming due to the nature of competition. Such an environement should be relatively free of regulatory facets for different competitors to exploit and eventually lobby to have implemented to their own advantage.

I'll use my own company as an example, one I disagree with in this regard wholeheartedly. The corp that employs me has most of its core business assets tied up in nuclear power, natural gas power and emerging green technologies. Most of these technologies are for baseline generation facilities rather than peaking or offloading facilities. The CEO has strongly lobbied for cap and trade regulation because it would make coal and gas turbine facilities, especially peaking stations which are less effecient but critical to maintaing grid load stability, much less competitive and give us a huge advantage. This increases overall consumer costs, in the end, because the cheapest option for power production is made more expensive to the point we become cheaper. The consumer, in this case, are futures energies buyers and then a small percentage of on-demand power requests from load dispatchers. These are the distributors who sell power directly to consumers and when their costs go up (because we're now the "cheapest" option), the costs go up for your average joe. We aren't made more competitive because found a cleaner, safer or more effecient way to make power - we're now artificially more competitive.

As for the notion of under-regulating in at the expense of safety, this is largely the consumer's fault. Consumers need to be informed enough to stress that safety is a design priority for whatever industry they are patronizing but this just isn't the case. The vast majority of consumers are underinformed and ignorant, often willfully so. With this sort of atmosphere, it doesn't matter how much regulatory agencies try to provide oversight, it will result in greater de-emphasis on safety because market forces eventually overhwelm any regulatory forces.

I don't know about that quote, but there is a risk inherent in everything. At some point, yes, we have to accept the risk of imparting certain services and products into society. The marginal costs of increasing safety past a certain point become unfeasible. A plane *will* crash every once in a while no matter how much maintenance programs and aviator training is audited and improved. Should we just get rid of planes altogether? Should commercial flights cost $1000 to fly 300 miles so as to have a budget to squeeze out more precentage points of safety?

Look at the Fukushima earthquake and the problems with the reactors. This is a matter I am intimately familiar with since those reactor vessels (GE BWR Gen III with Mk IV Primary Containment) are the exact same design at the facility I work at. Those plants performed admirably for the given conditions, yet everyone is being lambasted that reactor design isn't "safe" enough. People don't understand there is an inherent risk in producing power and the only way to 100% eliminate risk is to eliminate power production altogether. I would argue that nuclear plants have saved many more lives and increased the quality of life than the opposite even including the Chernobyl and Fukushima events. In addition, the industry continues to improve itself without prompting or regulatory mandate/decree. The general public doesn't understand that, and since these regulatory industry generally appeal to the emotion of the masses as a measure of their efficacy, the result is often needlessly burdensome regulation which increases our costs. That increases our cost to produce power which is passed on to the consumer and hurts their quality of life.
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:06 PM   #107 (permalink)
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Yep... what's happening in Oakland, is unfortunately not a surprise. The last 10 or 20 years in particular have seen increasing militarization of local law enforcement all over the country. Coupled with Oakland's history/notoriety for abuse, it was a recipe for disaster.
I agree, ever heard of that big as armored car in the 90's that busted through houses. "The war on drugs" was a huge excuse for the police force to become much more armed.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:25 PM   #108 (permalink)
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Again, no one is suggesting no regulation or standardization but that implementation of regulation be overseen and audited by someone other than governmental agencies which have no accountability.
How do you define accountability? How do you think that a private corporation will be more accountable than a government agency? The NTSB and FAA for example is staffed with some of the most experienced pilots, controllers, aeronautical engineers, mechanics, etc who came from the industry. You appear to cling to the disproven theory that business will self police and always have the public's best interest in mind. It just is not so. Agencies like the FAA and NTSB were created as a result of public outcry because of accidents. Our skies are far safer because of this government oversight.

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I would strongly argue that capitalism does not foster an environment for regulatory and business to collude in the interest of creating an artificial monopoly. If we understand capitalism in a fundamental sense, such an idea is antithetical to capitalism becaus the very nature of such collusion is antithetical to the idea of a free market. A free market is one in which market forces are allowed to prevent artificial monopolies from forming due to the nature of competition. Such an environement should be relatively free of regulatory facets for different competitors to exploit and eventually lobby to have implemented to their own advantage.
Again I would suggest that the opposite is true. By his very nature, the capitalist will always be scheming and looking for ways to use the system to his advantage. Collusion with regulatory bodies is a goldmine for the capitalist. It is an ideal tool to slant the playing field in his favor. Free Market theory is nothing more than economic Darwinism and ultimately creates monopolies. True free market capitalism is not a a system that is good for a society. Left to it's own devices, it becomes predatory and self destructive. Regulation is necessary to protect the welfare of the society from the capitalist.


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As for the notion of under-regulating in at the expense of safety, this is largely the consumer's fault. Consumers need to be informed enough to stress that safety is a design priority for whatever industry they are patronizing but this just isn't the case. The vast majority of consumers are underinformed and ignorant, often willfully so. With this sort of atmosphere, it doesn't matter how much regulatory agencies try to provide oversight, it will result in greater de-emphasis on safety because market forces eventually overhwelm any regulatory forces.
Are you for real? Are you really suggesting that as a passenger, Joe Q Public should be an expert at aeronautical engineering? What, as a passenger I should personally inspect the aircraft and read the maintenance logs before deciding if it is safe to board? That is absurd. We create agencies to act as proxies to do this. Lack of regulation and lack of enforcement always allows complacency and jeopardizes safety.

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I don't know about that quote, but there is a risk inherent in everything.
You don't "know about that quote" because you didn't bother to even watch the video. You only want to post your opinion not listen to any others. Had you watched, you would clearly understand the context of the quote. The point of that quote is that certain procedures were established ( not by the evil government but by a private company; namely the people who made the airplane) regarding the maintenance and those procedures were deemed by the airline to cost more than the cost of a major crash every 5 or 10 years. Now if you agree with the morality of that logic, I would suggest that you are a sociopath.

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At some point, yes, we have to accept the risk of imparting certain services and products into society. The marginal costs of increasing safety past a certain point become unfeasible.
We are not talking about spending tons of money trying to eliminate the risks of highly unlikely events. We are not talking about retrofitting every airline with meteorite avoidance systems, we are talking about enforcing safety procedures to deal with known, common events like metal fatigue in older airplanes!

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A plane *will* crash every once in a while no matter how much maintenance programs and aviator training is audited and improved. Should we just get rid of planes altogether? Should commercial flights cost $1000 to fly 300 miles so as to have a budget to squeeze out more precentage points of safety?
See above statement. We are not talking about trying to eliminate every possible unlikely scenario. We are talking about preventing easily avoidable ones. The vast majority of accidents are not the result of some unforeseen event, they are the result of someone not following a long established procedure. Accidents don't generally just happen, they are caused. Generally complacency and lack of regulatory oversight is at the root of the problem.

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Look at the Fukushima earthquake and the problems with the reactors. This is a matter I am intimately familiar with since those reactor vessels (GE BWR Gen III with Mk IV Primary Containment) are the exact same design at the facility I work at. Those plants performed admirably for the given conditions, yet everyone is being lambasted that reactor design isn't "safe" enough. People don't understand there is an inherent risk in producing power and the only way to 100% eliminate risk is to eliminate power production altogether.
I agree that the design may be "safe" and that much of this lambasting is the result of an acute lack of understanding of nuclear power. On the other side of that argument I would suggest that placement of certain facilities comes into play. I am far more comfortable with a nuclear power plant in central Wyoming than I am sitting on the San Andreas Fault next to Los Angeles! Many would argue that nuclear power, while the risk of accident may be low but the results of accidents are so catastrophic, is just not worth the risk. It seems many nuclear countries like Germany are now turning away from nuclear power.

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I would argue that nuclear plants have saved many more lives and increased the quality of life than the opposite even including the Chernobyl and Fukushima events.
I am a proponent of nuclear power too but I think you are way out on a precarious limb here.

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In addition, the industry continues to improve itself without prompting or regulatory mandate/decree. The general public doesn't understand that, and since these regulatory industry generally appeal to the emotion of the masses as a measure of their efficacy, the result is often needlessly burdensome regulation which increases our costs. That increases our cost to produce power which is passed on to the consumer and hurts their quality of life.
Too simplistic. Yes some innovation is the result of competition to find cheaper ways to generate power and yes the industry does look for safer ways to produce energy. But to totally discount the effect of regulatory pressure is intellectually dishonest, grossly naive or both. Many advances are the direct result of the industry trying to comply with regulation. Take "clean coal" as a prime example. The coal industry and coal fired plants would never of their own accord invested hundreds of billions of dollars to developed highly efficient stack scrubbing technologies of their own accord. It took passage of increasingly strict air quality regulation to get them off of their butts to do it.

Same thing applies to diesel engine manufactures who now have DPF filter systems to eliminate all soot from exhausts. It was EPA standards that forced this issue. Because of the EPA requiring engine manufacturers to comply with higher standard, you can now follow a new diesel pickup on the road without gagging on exhaust fumes.

I grant you that like anything, regulation does get out of hand and we need vehicles to quickly redress those cases. I also grant you that public pressure and competition within industry is also a factor. But the reality is that it is a combination of these forces that enact change and improve safety and quality of life. You seem to be adamant about refusing to accept that regulation is a major force for good in this arena and that just makes you grossly incorrect. Like the capitalist, you judge "quality of life" by how cheap material assets can be had. Society is changing their views on this and most of us will be happy to pay a little more for a safer, more sustainable "quality if life".

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Old 10-27-2011, 10:36 PM   #109 (permalink)
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How do you define accountability? How do you think that a private corporation will be more accountable than a government agency? The NTSB and FAA for example is staffed with some of the most experienced pilots, controllers, aeronautical engineers, mechanics, etc who came from the industry. You appear to cling to the disproven theory that business will self police and always have the public's best interest in mind. It just is not so. Agencies like the FAA and NTSB were created as a result of public outcry because of accidents. Our skies are far safer because of this government oversight.
Private enterprise is chiefly policed and held accountable by the people who patronize it. It is the lack of due diligence which has become a cultural norm which creates an opportunity for acts of predatory (even if involuntary) business. Business has to have their consumers interest in mind because the consumer's *own interest* is part of the terms of negotiation for a business transaction to occur. It's not disproven whatsoever, because I gave clear examples of agencies which set specific details of regulatory guidance that are outside the purview of government. INPO, WANO, ASME and the like are many of the agencies who's regulatory guidelines I deal with on a daily basis.

To suggest that because a government agency exists and performs regulatory functions and dismiss the notion that capacity would not have been performed otherwise is fallicious at best. These agencies are not accountable because there are no metrics measuring the efficacy of their performance and no mission statement to guide their philosophy. I pointed this out when I gave the military as a counter-example because the military (and things like the Post Office) have a precisely defined objective(s), an ordered and carefully designed hierarchical organization to achieve this objective and metrics around evaluating how effective they ultimately are.

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Again I would suggest that the opposite is true. By his very nature, the capitalist will always be scheming and looking for ways to use the system to his advantage. Collusion with regulatory bodies is a goldmine for the capitalist.
That may how a capitalist would react in a environment which isn't capitalistic, but you are still missing the point. Capitalism seeks to eliminate avenues by which competitors gain artificial advantages over one another. If there are minimal, simple and straight forward regulations, there's not much in the way for them to exploit.

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It is an ideal tool to slant the playing field in his favor. Free Market theory is nothing more than economic Darwinism and ultimately creates monopolies. True free market capitalism is not a a system that is good for a society. Left to it's own devices, it becomes predatory and self destructive. Regulation is necessary to protect the welfare of the society from the capitalist.
It is Economic Darwinism. What of it? In nature, there are lots of predators, yet beings low on the food chain manage to survive and even flourish. This might sound cruel, but truly, who can we hold responsible for each person's own personal safety? There seems to be this notion that this limit of the decisions we can make for people and the amount we can try to insulate them from the natural dangers that arise from the continual development of society is boundless.

I don't have a problem with the concept of regulatory limits, but there is never any discussion as to when limits are becoming ineffectual or even counter-productive, when they should be removed or ways to even determine their efficacy.

Quote:
Are you for real? Are you really suggesting that as a passenger, Joe Q Public should be an expert at aeronautical engineering? What, as a passenger I should personally inspect the aircraft and read the maintenance logs before deciding if it is safe to board? That is absurd. We create agencies to act as proxies to do this. Lack of regulation and lack of enforcement always allows complacency and jeopardizes safety.
We create proxies but these proxies need not be government agencies. The very notion we use government agencies to research what is an acceptable standard of safety is dangerous because no one holds these agencies accountable. It's taken for granted that these agencies are infallible by the layman, because they are governmental in nature. Look at yourself as an example. You never acknowledge the notion that regulatory measures can be just as predatory and destructive as the supposed predatory capital hungry businesses you fear. Whenever a disaster happens, no one ever questions whether or not the agencies which are supposed to be performing due diligence for us are actually performing as they are supposed to. There is no risk to these agencies, no incentive for them to do so because no one knows or does studies on their effectiveness or anything of that nature.


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You don't "know about that quote" because you didn't bother to even watch the video. You only want to post your opinion not listen to any others.
No, I didn't, because I'm not going to watch a 50 minute video to get context of some talking points you want use. I watched the first 2 minutes of each segment. What exactly is it you want me to glean from this material? I am listening to your points but that doesn't mean you get to provide the dilemma of either being forced to listen to your filibuster or be deemed closed minded. I watched as much as I had time for in order to try to get an understanding of why you provided this material.

Quote:
Had you watched, you would clearly understand the context of the quote. The point of that quote is that certain procedures were established ( not by the evil government but by a private company; namely the people who made the airplane) regarding the maintenance and those procedures were deemed by the airline to cost more than the cost of a major crash every 5 or 10 years. Now if you agree with the morality of that logic, I would suggest that you are a sociopath.
My point is still valid. There is nothing sociopathic about accepting that loss of life is going to be a consequence of developing and deploying emerging technologies (which airflight still is, given its relative infancy) to commercial applications. That doesn't mean trying to NOT to minimize it, of course. Minimizing loss of life obviously has to be the first priority but not just from a moral standpoint, but from a business standpoint also.

To suggest it's sociopathic to accept that, while preventable, a fatal accident is a physical possibility means one would also have to accept that passengers who fly and understand that there is at least a remote possibility of their loss of life or limb and do so anyway are respectively suicidal or masochistic.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:37 PM   #110 (permalink)
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We are not talking about spending tons of money trying to eliminate the risks of highly unlikely events. We are not talking about retrofitting every airline with meteorite avoidance systems, we are talking about enforcing safety procedures to deal with known, common events like metal fatigue in older airplanes!
I like how you present your argument as though there is some clear, self-evident delineation which defines the separation of spending money on preventing astronomically improbable events and attending to basic safety functions. Give some respect to the job of people who have to figure these things out. If it were that simple, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

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See above statement. We are not talking about trying to eliminate every possible unlikely scenario. We are talking about preventing easily avoidable ones. The vast majority of accidents are not the result of some unforeseen event, they are the result of someone not following a long established procedure. Accidents don't generally just happen, they are caused. Generally complacency and lack of regulatory oversight is at the root of the problem.
I work an environment where everything is proceduralized. We have procedures about how to walk through a door. Procedures do not prevent accidents, human performance tools do not prevent accidents. Of course accidents are caused, but they are caused by a confluence of circumstances that individually are not of consequence and therefore, typically unforeseen.

Every time we have an accident here, generally an industrial safety accident, the solution always to pile on more technical barriers (like proceduralized stops, checks and things of this nature) which makes focusing on the task more difficult, the accumulation of those combinations of factors more likely to go unnoticed and actual work performance to plummet. We're reaching the coffin corner of the flight envelope here and no one is willing to compromise in either procedural burdens which actually contribute to accidents or performance metrics that don't mean anything.

If it is complacency which causes accidents, it's complacency because the job itself is becoming less burdensome than all the proceduralized requirements and human performance tools that are being required to be used.

Quote:
I agree that the design may be "safe" and that much of this lambasting is the result of an acute lack of understanding of nuclear power. On the other side of that argument I would suggest that placement of certain facilities comes into play. I am far more comfortable with a nuclear power plant in central Wyoming than I am sitting on the San Andreas Fault next to Los Angeles! Many would argue that nuclear power, while the risk of accident may be low but the results of accidents are so catastrophic, is just not worth the risk. It seems many nuclear countries like Germany are now turning away from nuclear power.
They are doing so in error and rash knee jerk reaction. Gen III+ plants have so many advantages over Gen III plants, especially in performance during unanticipated transients. The conundrum is that these safer plants are under severe restricting for licensing under combined construction and operation permits because they are being judged by the safety performance of Gen III designs.

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I am a proponent of nuclear power too but I think you are way out on a precarious limb here.
I don't. Most nuclear plants are 800-1200 MWE output and run until the output breaker is opened for refueling during which maintenance activities can be performed. There have been exactly two accidents in the history of commercial plant operations which have resulted in a loss of life (Chernobyl and Fukushima) and three which have resulted in gross contamination of the outside environment (the previous two and Three Mile Island) and it's arguable that because the TMI was a controlled, elevated release which is done deliberately and within controlled administrative limits defined by the plant's Safety Analysis Report, part of its operating basis to get licensed, that this external contamination is acceptable.

How many people have died over the years working in coal mines or shale gas drilling operations? This is cheap, clean power and I don't doubt the small price of figuring out how to reprocess and store fuel long term makes fission technology a good stop gap until we find something better.


Quote:
Too simplistic. Yes some innovation is the result of competition to find cheaper ways to generate power and yes the industry does look for safer ways to produce energy. But to totally discount the effect of regulatory pressure is intellectually dishonest, grossly naive or both. Many advances are the direct result of the industry trying to comply with regulation. Take "clean coal" as a prime example. The coal industry and coal fired plants would never of their own accord invested hundreds of billions of dollars to developed highly efficient stack scrubbing technologies of their own accord. It took passage of increasingly strict air quality regulation to get them off of their butts to do it.

Same thing applies to diesel engine manufactures who now have DPF filter systems to eliminate all soot from exhausts. It was EPA standards that forced this issue. Because of the EPA requiring engine manufacturers to comply with higher standard, you can now follow a new diesel pickup on the road without gagging on exhaust fumes.

I grant you that like anything, regulation does get out of hand and we need vehicles to quickly redress those cases. I also grant you that public pressure and competition within industry is also a factor. But the reality is that it is a combination of these forces that enact change and improve safety and quality of life. You seem to be adamant about refusing to accept that regulation is a major force for good in this arena and that just makes you grossly incorrect. Like the capitalist, you judge "quality of life" by how cheap material assets can be had. Society is changing their views on this and most of us will be happy to pay a little more for a safer, more sustainable "quality if life".
I agree with these general sentiments, for the most part and I'll come back in a bit to address them more specifically.
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